I had a sudden epiphany as I indulged in the apple streusel pancakes Hubby made for our family this morning. Every important lesson in life is contained within the classic 1987 Rob Reiner film The Princess Bride.
What, you don’t believe me? Observe, my friends. I’m just sorry that I know nothing about video editing–if I did, the folks at the Webbys would already be engraving my name on the award. If you do know something about video editing, I just became your best friend. Just remember where you saw it first!!! Thanks to Wikiquote for saving me a ton of typing!
The Princess Bride Guide to Life
Acknowledgment of others:
Grandpa: Yes, you’re very smart. Shut up.
Buttercup: [to Westley, in reference to Prince Humperdinck] He can track a falcon on a cloudy day. He can find you.
Acknowledgment of self:
Fezzik: It’s not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don’t even exercise.
I only dog paddle.
Vizzini: Ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?…Morons.
I can’t compete with you physically, and you’re no match for my brains.
Westley: I would as soon destroy a stained glass window as I would an artist such as yourself. However, since I can’t have you following me either… [He knocks Inigo unconscious] Please understand, I hold you in the highest respect.
[After Buttercup enters the Honeymoon Suite and puts a dagger to her chest] There is a shortage of perfect breasts in the world. T’would be a pity to damage yours.
Attention to detail:
Valerie: Chocolate coating makes it go down easier.
Celebrating small achievements:
Fezzik: You just wiggled your finger. That’s wonderful!
Choosing one’s battles:
Vizzini: [laughs openly] You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.” But only slightly less well known is this: “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!” [laughs maniacally for a few seconds, then stops abruptly and falls over dead.]
Westley: Hear this now: I will always come for you.
Inigo: Let me explain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marrying Humperdinck in a little less than half an hour, so all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the Princess, and make our escape after I kill Count Rugen.
Man in Black: Faithfulness he talked of, madam, your enduring faithfulness! Now, tell me truly. When you found out he was gone, did you get engaged to your prince that same hour, or did you wait a whole week out of respect for the dead?
Buttercup: You mocked me once, never do it again! I died that day!
[The Man in Black turns to see Humperdinck’s hunting party riding past on the hill above them.]
Buttercup: And you can die too for all I care! [pushes him down the hill]
Man in Black: [tumbling down the hill] Aaaass yooooouuu wiiiiish!
Buttercup: [shocked] Oh, my sweet Westley, what have I done? [jumps down the hill after him]
Fezzik: Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid, or something like that?
Man in Black: Oh no. It’s just that they’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.
Finding enjoyment in your work:
Inigo: That Vizzini, he can fuss.
Fezzik: Fuss… Fuss… I think he likes to scream at us.
Inigo Montoya: Probably he means no harm.
Fezzik: He’s really very short on charm.
Inigo Montoya: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: Enough of that.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we’ll all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it!
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?
Vizzini: [screams in frustration]
Grandson: Hold it, hold it! What is this? Are you tryin’ to trick me? Where’s the sports? Is this a kissing book?
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something.
Grandpa: When I was your age, “television” was called “books.”
Westley: We are men of action. Lies do not become us.
Vizzini: Never forget this! [to Inigo] When I found you, you were so slobbering drunk you couldn’t buy brandy! [to Fezzik] And you! Friendless. Brainless. Helpless, hopeless! Do you want me to send you back to where you were? Unemployed? In Greenland!?
Westley: Well, Roberts had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. So he took me to his cabin and told me his secret. “I am not the Dread Pirate Roberts,” he said. “My name is Ryan. I inherited this ship from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from was not the real Dread Pirate Roberts, either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Roberts has been retired fifteen years and living like a king in Patagonia.” Then he explained the name was the important thing for inspiring the necessary fear. You see, no one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley. So we sailed ashore, took on an entirely new crew, and he stayed aboard for a while as first mate, all the time calling me Roberts. Once the crew believed, he left the ship and I have been Roberts ever since. Except, now that we’re together, I shall retire and hand the name over to someone else. Is everything clear to you?
Count Rugen: [in reference to the Machine] Beautiful, isn’t it? It took me half a lifetime to invent it. I’m sure you’ve discovered my deep and abiding interest in pain. At present I’m writing the definitive work on the subject. So I want you to be totally honest with me on how The Machine makes you feel.
As you know, the concept of the suction pump is centuries old. Well, really, that’s all this is. Except that instead of sucking water, I’m sucking life. I’ve just sucked one year of your life away. I might one day go as high as five, but I really don’t know what that would do to you. So, let’s just start with what we have. What did this do to you? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity, so be honest — how do you feel?
[The Man in Black challenges Vizzini to determine which goblet of wine is poisoned.]
Vizzini: But it’s so simple! All I have to do is divine from what I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet, or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You’ve made your decision then?
Vizzini: Not remotely! Because iocaine comes from Australia, as everyone knows. And Australia is entirely peopled with criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
Man in Black: Truly you have a dizzying intellect.
Vizzini: Wait ’til I get going! [small pause] Where was I?
Man in Black: Australia.
Vizzini: Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder’s origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!
Man in Black: You’re just stalling now.
Vizzini: You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you?! You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong. So, you could have put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you. So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you’ve also bested my Spaniard which means you must have studied. And in studying, you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!
Man in Black: You’re trying to trick me into giving away something. It won’t work.
Vizzini: It has worked! You’ve given everything away! I know where the poison is!
Man in Black: Then make your choice.
Vizzini: I will! And I choose… [points behind the Man in Black and gasps] What in the world can that be?
Man in Black: [Turns to look while Vizzini switches the goblets] What? Where? I don’t see anything.
Vizzini: Oh, well, I-I could have sworn I saw something. No matter. [chuckles]
Man in Black: What’s so funny?
Vizzini: I’ll tell you in a minute, but first, let’s drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours.
Making a living:
Inigo: I just work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There’s not a lot of money in revenge.
Vizzini: I’ve hired you to help me start a war. It’s a prestigious line of work with a long and glorious tradition.
Making the best of adversity:
Westley: [To an unconscious Fezzik] I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But in the mean time, rest well and dream of large women.
Westley: [entering the fire swamp] It’s not that bad.
[Buttercup stares at him incredulously.]
I’m not saying I’d like to build a summer home here, but the trees are actually quite lovely.
Buttercup: On the high seas, your ship attacked, and the Dread Pirate Roberts never takes prisoners.
Man in Black: [leaning back leisurely against a rock] I can’t afford to make exceptions. Once word leaks out that a pirate has gone soft, people begin to disobey you, and then it’s nothing but work, work, work, all the time.
Impressive Clergyman: Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove…Have you the wing?
Count Rugen: [To Inigo] You must be that little Spanish brat I taught a lesson to all those years ago. It’s simply incredible. Have you been chasing me your whole life only to fail now? I think that’s the worst thing I ever heard. How marvelous.
Good heavens, are you still trying to win? You’ve got an over-developed sense of vengeance. It’s going to get you in trouble some day.
Observance of Social Etiquette:
Inigo: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
[Buttercup kisses the old, senile king on the cheek]
King: What was that for?
Buttercup: Because you’ve always been so kind to me. And I won’t be seeing you again, since I’m killing myself once we reach the Honeymoon Suite.
King: [smiling] Won’t that be nice? [calling out to the Queen] She kissed me!
Valerie: [continues repeating “Humperdinck” at Max]
Inigo Montoya: [simultaneously] This is Buttercup’s true love! If you heal him, he will stop Humperdinck’s wedding.
Miracle Max: [quiets Valerie] Wait, wait- I make him better, Humperdinck suffers?
Inigo Montoya: Humiliations galore!
Miracle Max: [laughs and sings briefly] That is a noble cause! Give me the sixty-five. I’m on the job!
Prince Humperdinck: [To Westley, who is surrounded by Humperdinck’s guards] Surrender!
Westley: You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well – I accept.
Inigo: He’s right on top of us! I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using?
Count Rugen: Are you coming down into the Pit? Westley’s got his strength back. I am starting him on The Machine tonight.
Humperdinck: Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work. But, I’ve got my country’s five hundredth anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I’m swamped.
Count Rugen: Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.
Miracle Max: See, there’s a big difference between mostly dead, and all dead. Now, mostly dead: he’s slightly alive. All dead, well, with all dead, there’s usually only one thing that you can do.
Inigo: What’s that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.
Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT, a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that.
Taking the time to do things right:
Miracle Max: You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.
The First Amendment right “peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances”:
Old Woman: Your true love lives and you marry another — True love saved her in the Fire Swamp, and she treated it like garbage. And that’s what she is, the Queen of Refuse! So, bow down to her if you want. Bow to her. Bow to the Queen of Slime, the Queen of Filth, the Queen of Putrescence. Boo! Boo! Rubbish! Filth! Slime! Muck! Boo! Boo!
Inigo: [in response to Vizzini’s repeated use of “Inconceivable!”] You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Grandpa: That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.”
So the next time life throws you a curve, you now know where to turn. Did I leave something out? Have a better idea? Let me know with a comment, and if I indeed committed a sin of omission, I’ll fix it … “as you wish.”